Environment and Indifference…

Muhyymin ul Moomin Khan

After the white snow of Chilai Qalan, spring arrived with heavenly aroma in the air, the blossoming flowers, the bright warm sunlight, the cool breeze. Alas! The things one related to Kashmir, are fast fainting into the realm of dreams and classroom stories about yesteryears “Heaven on Earth”. What used to be a part of everyone’s life everyday has to be experienced now, only on weekend visits to the hill stations of the valley?
Ironically, no one is concerned with the green turning gray. The receding snowline of ‘Kolohoi’ glacier, the receding limits of lake Dal, the shrinking water bodies, the vanishing tree lines, residential colonies coming up on agricultural lands, the hotels standing taller than the forests and through which echoed the cheerful chirps of the carefree wildlife, are not the things which anyone in their homes or in their offices would have a discourse about. And if by fate, this thing comes up, we, very pleasurably pass on the blame to the demon named “Global Warming”. “What have I done?”, “how can I help?”, “it is not my fault…” these are the common excuses which we come up with, when pulled into environmental related discussions. Everyone is more interested in passing on the buck, rather than realizing his or her importance in this vast ecosystem, as well as feeling responsible for the sad state of affairs. Each of us is as indifferent to the problem, as a rat is to gold.
The obvious reason for our indifference to the dying ecosystem in the valley is that there is no sense of belonging to it. We think of the nature and ourselves as two distinct and independent dimensions, which, however, in reality are not so. It would be childish on our part to blame the CO2 emissions from USA and China for the devastation seen around here, but then, who wants to grow up.
We squarely dismiss the notion that we contribute to the root cause of all these problems, that being pollution. Pollution to us means black smoke coming out of the tall industrial chimneys or the exhaust gases of the vehicles, and that is all. We do not conceive of pollution as something small, and that is where the problem lies. Unless we do not think of pollution in broader as well as narrower sense, we will not wake up from this slumber. Safeguarding the valley from pollution is not only the job of State Pollution Control Board, but it is everyone’s responsibility. One big polluter is smaller than ten Lac miniscule polluters. The people unknowingly pollute the valley at individual level, thinking it does not make a difference, but when all such instances of coldness to the environment are accumulated it results in what we are seeing around.
At an individual level we can make a lot of difference to the prevailing situation. Each one of us in different capacities can take steps so as to preserve the environment. As such students should have been at the forefront of this campaign, but interestingly, they are the worst defaulters on the same account. From high schools through to the universities, students in one way or the other harm the environment.
Most of the students like to travel in their own vehicles, be it cars or motorbikes. But driving a private vehicle is not a problem; it is the way it is driven. Often students are involved in road rage, which results in higher fuel consumption for the same amount of distance covered, which leads to higher emissions being pumped into the air. Few would have thought on those lines, I guess.
Similarly, the “Gen – X”, as they call themselves, do not believe in food prepared at home. They will go for a packet of chips, a tin or a mobile bottle of the leading soft drink company, take it in style…and throw the trash on the road side! Does it contribute? Yes it does. Look at all the polythene and plastic heaps all around. At home we avoid a lot of simple things which could have helped us go green. When we go to shopping, one could take a cloth bag or similar stuff, but just for not having to carry around something with us, just not to look old fashioned, and frankly speaking just because we are really lazy people, we ask the shopkeeper to fit all the stuff in “bags” – polythene bags.
And then we bring them home and throw them away on the next morning, on the corner of the lane, or outside our neighbour’s door. To us we have just acted as every other person acts, but that is what is wrong. We are not a people who want to take an initiative; we just like to be pushed. We are not ready to be the change we want to see around. There is a lack of basic civic values. In fact, if I was to say that we lack the basic attributes which make an animal a man, I shall not be wrong.
Through this article I do not intend to highlight the basic environmental problems, and the solutions related thereto, but rather I want to enlighten the readers about the weak civic sense we have evolved in our minds and hearts. The above quoted examples are not the root causes of any pollution but they reflect rather those aspects of our lives, which we would not hitherto connect or relate to eco-problems. Each step we take to go green, notwithstanding, how small it is, it shall make a difference. We cannot be indifferent to the ground reality, pass on the buck and say “still my home is clean”. Remember, excess of everything is “sad”!


About theparallelpost
The language of words is more heavenly than the language of tongues and lips. The Parallel Post is a forum to offer a space for people who dare to speak through their words. The intention is to create an environment to share in words what we perceive in our minds...

One Response to Environment and Indifference…

  1. Shuja says:

    Nice eye opener.Needs a bigger audience.

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